Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday's Forgotten Books, Friday January 17, 2014

Warwick Bookstore La Jolla
From 2009.

Gar Anthony Haywood is the award winning author of the Aaron Gunner series, two thrillers written as Ray Shannon, and most recently CEMETERY ROAD.
FAULT LINES by Teri White
One of the greatest compliments a book reviewer ever paid to something I'd written was "the best Elmore Leonard rip-off since Elmore Leonard." Publisher's Weekly was referring to my 2003 standalone MAN EATER, but the reviewer could have easily said the same thing fifteen years earlier about Teri White's terrific crime novel, FAULT LINES (Mysterious Press, 1988). I have yet to come across another book that nails the quirky, deceptively scary flavor of a Dutch Leonard novel quite so flawlessly.
True to the often-imitated but rarely duplicated Leonard formula, White populated FAULT LINES with a cast of off-beat, complex characters and then spun a tale in which their separate misadventures would ultimately collide.
Bryan Murphy is an ex-New York City cop who, forced into early retirement by a near-fatal heart attack, now makes his home in Los Angeles, where's he's bored to tears. So bored that he strikes up an uneasy friendship with an ex-con named Tray Detaglio, who's only recently gotten out of the joint. Detaglio's trying to find his ex-girlfriend Kathryn Daily, a cold-hearted hustler and pole dancer who claimed to be pregnant with his child when he last heard from her, but his clumsy attempts to track her down only land him in jail. When Murphy bails him out, being the only person Detaglio could think of to call for help, the two strike a deal: Murphy will look for Kathryn if Detaglio will take over some home repair work Murphy's weak heart prevents him from tackling himself.
Meanwhile, Kathryn---having aborted Detaglio's child years ago---is shacking up elsewhere in L.A. with two more ex-cons, former cellmates Dwight St. John and Chris Moore. Psychotic career criminals who make Detaglio look like an altar boy, Dwight and Chris seem resigned to pulling one stupid, meaningless liquor store robbery after another, until Kathryn offers them a chance at something much better: the Big, once-in-a-lifetime heist they've always dreamed of pulling. One of Kathryn's many ex-boyfriends, post-Tray Detaglio, was mobbed-up drug dealer Michael Stanzione, and before she left him, she learned all there was to know about where Stanzione likes to keep a cool half-million in his palatial Beverly Hills mansion. . .
Get it? It's a terrific set-up, and White works it all to perfection. Tight plotting, solid dialogue---it's all here. But Kathryn---hot, sexy and oh, so wicked---is the poisoned straw that stirs this drink. Bedding and playing all three men at once---Dwight, Chris and Tray---as if they were suckers in a shell game, she leads the reader on a hardcore thrill ride reminiscent of. . .
Well, yeah: a great Elmore Leonard novel.

Sergio Angelini, THE ALIEN, L.P. Davis
Joe Barone, A MURDER OF CROWS, P.F. Chisholm 
Bill Crider, PINK VODKA BLUES, Neal Barrett, Jr.
Martin Edwards, SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES, Patrick Quentin
Jerry House, Shared Tomorrows:  Science Fiction in Collaboration edited by Bill Pronzini and Barry N. Malzberg (1979)The Great Science Fiction Series edited by Fredrik Pohl, Martin Harry Greenberg, and Joseph Olander (1980)
Nick Jones, MR. CALDER AND MR. BEHRENS, Michael Gilbert
George Kelley. WHAT IF?, ed. by Richard Lupoff
Margot Kinberg, THE CASE OF THE MISSING BOOKS, Ian Sansom 
B.V. Lawson, THE FORTIETH DOOR, Mary Hastings Bradley
Evan Lewis, "One Man Died," Norbert David
Steve Lewis, THE DESTROYER 47: DYING SPACE, Warren Murphy
Todd Mason, CRIMES AND CHAOS by Avram Davidson (Regency 1962); GATEWAYS TO FOREVER: THE STORY OF THE SCIENCE-FICTION [AND FANTASY FICTION] MAGAZINES FROM 1970 TO 1980 by Mike Ashley (Liverpool University Press, 2006
J.F. Norris, ARMADALE, Wilkie Collins
James Reasoner, RHYMES OF TEXAS AND THE OLD WEST, Robert E. Howard
Ron Scheer, LAST CHANCE CAMP, G. F. Unger  
Kerrie Smith, THE NURSING HOME MURDER, Ngaio March 
R.T. MUDBOUND, Hilary Jordan
Kevin Tipple.Barry Ergang, THE FLOATING LADY MURDER, Daniel Stashower
Prashant Trikannad, THE RENOS, Wolf Lundgren 

Our thoughts are with Randy Johnson today, recovering from foot surgery. 


Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to Teri White? I read five of her books (including FAULT LINES) between 1987-92 but she seemed to disappear after that.

Jeff M.

Nick Jones (Louis XIV, the Sun King) said...

Teri White's another new one on me (evidently I've lived a sheltered life), but I like the sound of Fault Lines. Noted. Thanks, Patti.

Gerard said...

The only thing I know about La Jolla is this song by Camper Van Beethoven.

pattinase (abbott) said...

La Jolla is paradise in terms of almost everything. We only get to be in paradise for six weeks a year but it carries us into the spring.
So far 14 days, sun every one, temps in 70s and 80s.

Gerard said...

La Jolla sound very nice.

Todd Mason said...

Finally up...

FFB: CRIMES AND CHAOS by Avram Davidson (Regency 1962); GATEWAYS TO FOREVER: THE STORY OF THE SCIENCE-FICTION [AND FANTASY FICTION] MAGAZINES FROM 1970 TO 1980 by Mike Ashley (Liverpool University Press, 2006)

Just typing the titles, as usual, takes fifteen minutes...

Todd Mason said...

Is it just my interface, or is Blogger acting weirder than usual today?

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, I had a tremendously hard time getting this up today. it kept freezing.

Casual Debris said...

Hi Patti, Please include my review of The Woodrow Wilson Dime. Thanks, Frank

Sai S said...


Please include my review of The Best of Adventure, vol. 1 - 1910-1912 .

Unknown said...

See also . . .

I have not labeled the posting as Forgotten Book Friday -- you have the "rights" to that name -- but the book I have highlighted does deserve more readers.

In future weeks, I shall try to make a similar Friday posting. Stay tuned.

Rick Robinson said...

Ah, La Jolla - for those who don't know, it's pronounced La Hoya - a wonderful, if expensive place, with a Raymond Chandler history to it. Glad you're having a good, warm time.

I hadn't heard any update on Randy, so thanks for the comment you made. Do you know the extent of the operation?

Ron Scheer said...

La Jolla is a Spanish word which translated into English means money, money, money...